Second in a series, What’s In and What’s Out on Greenwich Avenue
There’s good news for fans of independent mom-and-pop shops on Greenwich Avenue. Michaelangelo, the longtime staple for fine gifts and engraving, is moving from 353 Greenwich Ave, between Richards and Free People, to a new location, just a block away.
The store, run by Michael Papa and his wife Gail, specializes in engraving everything from flasks to gavels. In operation since 1979, Greenwich residents know the store is a convenient source for an array of quality monogrammed gifts, and even the baby’s silver spoon.
Ron Brien, of Alliance Commercial Property, said Michael Papa and his wife Gail will be moving their operation to 410 Greenwich Avenue, the space formerly occupied by Tropical Smoothie Café.
“The lease is coming up next year and the landlord wanted to raise the rent and, for various reasons, they decided it’s not worth it to pay and stay. Rather than closing or having to move to another town, they decided to move to 410 Greenwich Ave.”
Also, according to Mr. Brien, the new space is 555 sq ft less than their current space, but it’s more economical and visible. The new location is a stone’s throw from the train station and movie theater, and benefits from heavy foot traffic.
“That corner is the busiest location on the Avenue,” Brien said. “It’s just a parade of commuters.”
Mr. Brien said the area around Fawcett Place and the Avenue has become a hot spot.
“You’ve got Athleta, the Apple store and Richards. That little nook is becoming a destination,” he said.
“It’s an amazing location. It’s the part of the area that’s had the most transformation in the last 6 to 9 months,” he said, adding that both Wish List and a Chase Bank branch have left, but now there is Athleta, Juice Press, and Soul Cycle.
Also, Mr. Brien noted that this fall Tesla will open in the spot that once housed the Koren grocer. (Read our coverage of the ZBA decision to allow Tesla on the Ave).
Elsewhere on Greenwich Avenue, the space formerly occupied by Healthmart remains vacant. Across the street, newcomer, The Granola Bar has enjoyed a warm reception.
Shari’s Place, a high end women’s fashion store, with locations in Manhattan and Long Island, is headed for the Ave, (next to Manfredi). “They have very nice, quality clothing, and will move into the space formerly occupied by Betteridge,” Mr. Brien said.
“In general the rents are holding their own, but there is a lot vacant at the moment,” Mr. Brien continued.
Lucky Brand Jeans has moved out of 244 Greenwich Avenue, the building longtime home to women’s clothing store Chancy D’Elia.
On Saturday morning, the windows of Lucky Brand Jeans were covered with brown paper, and the outline of the original Chancy D’Elia sign was visible.
Also leaving the Avenue are Rose Jewelers and Optyx by Gruen, which operate side by side at #229, next door to Zara at# 225. Both stores are for rent.
Mr. Brien said he wouldn’t be surprised if Saks expanded into those spaces.
“Saks is across the street. They keep gobbling up storefronts,” he said.
Further up the Ave, the Abby Taylor gallery at #41 and Jewels by Viggi at #40 Greenwich Ave, have both closed.
Mr. Brien said that MacInspires is set to make a move. Reached by email on Saturday, Travis Sluss, owner of MacInspires, said the plan is to move off the Avenue, and stay within Greenwich.
Just above MacInspires, at Pickwick Plaza, Mr. Brien said the landlord spent a lot of money to renovate the massive space at street level.
“They put in floor to ceiling glass, and he brought the interior out toward the street. It’s done with floor to ceiling glass and makes it three times more visible than having the stores hidden under the porte cochère,” Mr. Brien said, adding that the landlord plans to open a cafe in the building. “There is also an added outdoor patio area.”
Still Mr. Brien said the top of the Avenue is less desirable because foot traffic is light.
Around the mind point of Greenwich Ave, next to Lynnens (278), Simantov Fine Jewelry has picked up and left.
See also: What’s In, What’s Out on Greenwich Avenue (February 2016)